Millionaire’s Shortbread

Millionaire Shortbread | #recipe

I’ve been hearing about millionaire shortbread for years – a layer of shortbread crust topped with chewy caramel and chocolate ganache. I made a version of it a couple of years ago with chocolate chip cookie dough (Billionaire’s Shortbread!), but up until now hadn’t made the real deal. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it’s actually very similar to the Twix tart that I made a few months ago – tastes just like the candy bar! If you like Twix, you’ll love these bars!

Millionaire Shortbread | #recipe

Usually a dessert that involves multiple components will throw off a little red flag to most folks as too complicated or time-consuming. I was pleasantly surprised at how relatively easy and quick these bars were to make. From start to finish, they only took a little over an hour, which is awesome when you’re assembling three layers!

So, to recap: shortbread, caramel and chocolate. Easy and not time-consuming. This is definitely a recipe worthy of a spot in your “tried and true” recipe box!

Millionaire Shortbread | #recipe

One year ago: Carrot-Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Icing
Two years ago: Tamale Pie
Three years ago: Double-Chocolate Loaf with Peanut Butter-Cream Cheese Spread
Four years ago: Chocolate Fudge Swirl Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Five years ago: The Signature Salad
Six years ago: Pain Ordinaire Careme (A Daily Loaf)
Seven years ago: Italian Stuffed Peppers

Millionaire's Shortbread

Yield: 16 bars

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

A layer of shortbread topped with chewy caramel and chocolate - a fancy version of a Twix bar!


For the Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 tablespoon ice water
1 egg yolk

For the Caramel:
1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup dark brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Lyle's Golden Syrup (or dark corn syrup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

For the Ganache Topping:
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 tablespoons heavy cream


1. Make the Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil, allowing at least an inch overhang on all sides. Spray with nonstick cooking spray).

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cornstarch and salt, making sure there are no lumps of brown sugar remaining. Add the butter and cut into the flour mixture using a pastry blender or two knives until a coarse meal forms. Add the ice water and egg yolk and blend with a fork until moist clumps form. Dump the dough into the prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

3. Make the Caramel: Whisk the sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, butter, golden syrup and salt together in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, the butter melts and the mixture comes to a boil. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and boil, whisking constantly, until the caramel is thick and the temperature registers 225 degrees F, about 6 minutes. Quickly whisk in the vanilla extract and pour the caramel over the prepared crust; cool for about 15 minutes, or until the caramel is set.

4. For Chocolate Ganache: Place the chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals on 50% power, stirring between each, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Spread the chocolate over the caramel layer. Refrigerate the bars until the chocolate is set, at least 1 hour.

5. Lift the bars out of the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into squares and serve. Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

(Recipe adapted from Once Upon a Chef)


49 Responses to “Millionaire’s Shortbread”

  1. Debra on August 6, 2014 at 2:22 am

    Can you sub Maple syrup for the corn syrup?


    • Michelle on August 6th, 2014 at 11:11 am

      Hi Debra, Unfortunately you can’t, they have completely different properties as it pertains to making this caramel mixture.


  2. Annie on August 6, 2014 at 4:37 am

    My mom taught me how to make millionaire’s shortbread when I was only a little girl and they have been a family recipe ever since. We love love them! I have an anglo-saxon upbringing so maybe that’s why I’ve known them all these years.

    I really want to try them with a salted caramel middle but have yet to get to it!


    • Megan Jenkins on August 6th, 2014 at 11:42 am

      I was just about to write the same thing Annie! When I was a little girl, I loved typing my mom’s recipes on a typewriter and putting the sheets into a notebook. My mom still has the recipe I typed probably 25 years ago in one of her cookbooks, and that’s still the sheet she uses to this day to make these. We grew up calling them Mars Bars. I’m originally from Canada, so, I think they were an ode to a candy bar up there. Either way, these were always my favorite, and my family loved them straight out of the freezer. I’ve also made these and instead of putting the ganache on top, I’ll freeze the pan of just the shortbread and caramel, cut them into squares, and then dip them in chocolate to mimic a Twix bar. My family says “not the same as mom’s”, but I love them that way!


      • Annue on August 6th, 2014 at 2:17 pm

        haha, sounds similar 😀 I’m actually French with an Irish mother so we got all the yummy british baked goods on top of all the good french cooking 😉
        I’ve never thought of freezing them, do they freeze well? I should probably try as now I want to make a batch but as I live alone there’s a chance of all of them disappearing!


        • Megan Jenkins on August 8th, 2014 at 10:42 am

          Yes! They do freeze well! Helps when you want to store the rest of the dessert away and not get into eating the whole thing at once, and also for pulling out on a whim when guests are over. Yes, Canadian heritage is usually heavily French and English influenced, so, it totally makes sense. Perhaps my family likes them frozen because they’re Canadian? You know, just stereotypical Canadian jokes 🙂


  3. Shana on August 6, 2014 at 6:34 am

    I’d like to make a version with a peanut butter center. What would you suggest for that? I think you’ve done some things with a peanut butter cup sort of flavor, but I can’t remember.


  4. Averie @ Averie Cooks on August 6, 2014 at 6:37 am

    I’ve made similar recipes to Millionaire’s Shortbread, sort of adapting the basic recipe, and I love all the layer and textures. Yours looks awesome!


  5. Ann Wright on August 6, 2014 at 7:01 am

    It’s “millionaire’s” shortbread, not “millionaire”. Just saying. It’s a Scottish thing,


    • Anonymous on August 7th, 2014 at 9:33 am

      It can be either, I think. Anyway, if I’m wrong, it could be a typo.


  6. Tom @ Raise Your Garden on August 6, 2014 at 7:04 am

    I love the twix candy bar so this is definitely right up my alley. Shortbread, caramel and chocolate what’s not too like?


  7. Lori on August 6, 2014 at 7:38 am

    I am making these this weekend! Looks like a keeper and what is not to love?


  8. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar on August 6, 2014 at 7:41 am

    These bars are downright amazing!! Such a yummy recipe!


  9. Jody on August 6, 2014 at 9:24 am

    These look amazing. My daughter adores Twix, but we too don’t have much candy at out household, pretty much just holidays. She’s going through a bit of a rough time and I would like to surprise her with either this or the Twix tart. Which do you think comes closest to Twix?
    I can only imagine how much she would love either. Homemade caramel, and a better cookie than the Twix…
    Now I want this and I don’t have much of a sweet tooth!


    • Michelle on August 6th, 2014 at 11:13 am

      Hi Jody, I think that the base of the Twix tart is more representative of the cookie portion of a Twix. I would choose that one 🙂 You’re such a sweet mom!


  10. Julie @ HostessAtHeart on August 6, 2014 at 9:53 am

    These look amazing! Who doesn’t like chocolate and peanut butter?


  11. Emily on August 6, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Yum!!! Can’t wait to make these! 😀 I haven’t heard of them before but love caramel anything!


  12. marcie on August 6, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Twix is one of my favorite candy bars, and I remember that amazing Twix tart you made! I pinned that, and I’ll be pinning this shortbread as well. I really need to try one of them soon!


  13. Ilona @ Ilona's Passion on August 6, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Yum shortbread caramel and chocolate, delicious!


  14. Mir on August 6, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Man, that caramel layer looks so good! I love this recipe. And your pics have me wanting it now!


  15. Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts on August 6, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Twix bars are my fav candy bar … love these bars!!


  16. Megan on August 6, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    We have these all over the place in New Zealand, they are called Caramel Slices here, and you’d be hard pressed to find a bakery which doesn’t sell them! Absolute Kiwi staple for the truckies lunch stop.


    • Dyannah on August 7th, 2014 at 1:01 am

      A friend from New Zealand made me caramel slices. I absolutely loved the chewy goodness.


  17. Jamie on August 6, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    Those look delicious! I’m always ready to try a new dessert and I have all of those ingredients in my pantry so I may have to whip up some for myself! 🙂


  18. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking on August 6, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    This has been on my list FOREVER!!! Yours looks fabulous. I never thought about it that way but it does seem like a Twix but way better….obvi


  19. Holly on August 6, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Oh wow, I love Twix, so this looks divine!


  20. Carolin on August 7, 2014 at 12:09 am

    This is a bit of a random question…the recipe calls for 1-14oz can of sweetened condensed milk, do you know what the volume equivalent is to that in cups? In Canada our cans come in 300mL and I’m worried that I may end up adding too much milk if I go by measuring ounces. Any help is great!


    • Zoya @ The Chocolate Heart on August 7th, 2014 at 9:42 am

      Hi, Carolin,
      A 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk is equivalent to 1 1/4 cups, which is about 400ml.
      Hope this helps!


      • Michelle on August 7th, 2014 at 9:34 pm

        Thanks, Zoya! 🙂


  21. KATHLEEN on August 7, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Hi there
    Made this recipe today and it turned out awesome. I plan to post my version with a few photos on my blog. I will link my readers to your blog for the recipe—hope that’s ok!!

    Love your blog—checking it is one of my “must-do” things every day!
    Keep up the awesome work!!


    • Michelle on August 7th, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      Hi Kathleen, Absolutely! So glad you liked it!


  22. anon on August 12, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    I tried this with a handful of coconut and pecans thrown into the caramel filling and it’s amazing.


  23. Alex on August 13, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    These look amazing! I have to try these! 😀

    Also, is it okay to substitute light corn syrup as opposed to dark corn syrup, or would that make the consistency of the caramel much different?


    • Michelle on August 15th, 2014 at 8:24 am

      Hi Alex, You could make that switch. It shouldn’t change the consistency; the dark syrup will have a little bit of a richer flavor.


  24. peri on August 18, 2014 at 3:22 am

    Hi. I like to make these but i haven’t corn syrup and it is hard to find. can i substitute honey for corn syrup?


    • Michelle on August 19th, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      Hi Peri, Unfortunately, honey will not provide the same properties necessary for making the caramel.


  25. barb on August 19, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    So, I have a big family, three teenage boys, could this recipe be doubled and made in a 13×9 in pan?


    • Michelle on August 19th, 2014 at 10:20 pm

      Hi Barb, Yes, you could do that!


  26. Tracy | Pale Yellow on August 22, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Multi-layer bars are one of my favorite things to make, easy yet not boring. A giant twix bar has my interest peaked!


  27. Renee @ Awesome on $20 on August 23, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    My sister-in-law brought me some of these from Scotland (she lives in Glasgow). I absolutely fell in love. I’d love to make this myself.


  28. Kaycee on October 4, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    This is a weird question, but what is the difference between using dark brown sugar and just typical brown sugar? Does it change the taste or texture?


    • Michelle on October 5th, 2014 at 9:43 am

      Hi Kaycee, Dark brown sugar has significantly more molasses in it than light brown sugar, so it is sweeter and moister.


      • Kaycee on October 11th, 2014 at 8:15 pm

        Thanks for the response! I made them earlier this week and they were delicious! I could eat the caramel by itself.


  29. Louise on November 13, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    I ran into trouble trying to cut the squares after they were topped with chocolate and refrigerated. Even with a knife run under hot water, the chocolate split and broke unevenly so I couldn’t get even bars- suggestions?


    • Michelle on November 16th, 2014 at 7:03 pm

      Hi Louise, I sometimes use a large pizza slicer for the job!


  30. Susan Zimmer on November 17, 2014 at 9:00 am

    I made these a few weeks ago, and not only did my husband and I go nuts over them, but he also took some to share with a “select few” co-workers, and they just though they were out of this world!! Needless to say, this is a keeper recipe and will be making again soon, especially for the upcoming holidays. Thank you for such a FAB recipe. I LOVE your website and will be commenting on other recipes that I have tried soon!


  31. Jackie K on December 6, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    I love me Twix bars, so had to try these. They were excellent! Won’t have minded a little more “cookie” to balance the amount of caramel (which was sooooo delish) My shortbread stayed in the oven a minute too long so it unfortunately crumbled a bit when cut… I’ll avoid distractions next time i make these. And there will be a next time… or so my husband as informed me 😉
    As usual, great recipe BEB


  32. plasterer bristol on June 30, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    Oh wow, this is my faorite treat ever. and this recipe turned out just perfect for us. Thanks for sharing.



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